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6 Man Defensive Unit

Drill Objective(s)
  1. To train the back 4 and 2 centre midfielders to defend as a unit.
  2. Develop an understanding of defensive roles and responsibilities.
  • Drill No:               FUNC 1
  • Age:                    13-Adult                             
  • No Players:        13+
  • Difficulty:            Medium
  • Area/Time:         1/2 Field  (25mins)
Diagram 1
ORGANISATION:

Mark out 1/2 size pitch (2 gate goals for the defending team).  Keep a collection of balls at the 1/2 way line for quick restarts.  Starting position 1 is on the half half line (centre circle).

  • 6 Red defending players (2 CBs, RFB, LFB, 2 CMs)
  • 6 White attacking players (2 Strikers, 1 Attacking mid, 1 Defensive mid, 2 wingers)
  • 1 goalkeepers  (Green)
 
INSTRUCTIONS:

2 teams compete.  The red team attempts to defend (win the ball back or deny a good opportunity to score), retain possession and score in the small gate goals if possible.  The white team attempt to score on goal. :

    1. The defensive centre mid plays a ball out from the centre circle unopposed.  Preferably to an outside midfielder.
    2. The coach then works with the defensive unit to understand how to pressure the players and how the unit performs.  Refer to key Coaching Points below.

Topics to Cover

  • When to step (pressure) to a player and when not to (drop off).
  • Sliding as a unit to the strong side of the field (the side with the ball in it).
  • The back 4 steps up when the ball is played negatively (backwards).
  • The back 4 drops when they anticipate a ball being played long over the top.
  • The 2 centre midfielders screen the back 4 from balls into the forwards feet.
  • Outside back should pressure their outside mids.
  • GK acts as sweeper.
  • Mark your man and 1/2 the players next to you (zonal or mixed marking/zonal back 4)
  • Communication (Leadership), who calls the line?
  • Team strategy - High press or low press?

 

Diagram 2 - Defending Unit Sliding (Strong Side)
Diagram 3 - Defending Unit Pushing Up
 
Diagram 4 - Defending Unit Dropping on Anticipation of Ball Behind
 
SCORING:
 

The white attacking teams scores in the regular goal.  The defending team scores by playing the ball through one of the gate goals on the half way line.  Also see variation 2.

 
KEY COACHING POINTS:

In addtion to the points covered in the Topics to cover:

  1. Encourage communication in the back line.
  2. Fast transition to organize the defensive line quickly.
  3. Intensity to defend.
  4. Ensure coverage is correct.
  5. Ensure balance is correct.
 
PROGRESSIONS:
  1. Remove a CM to make the exercise harder.
  2. Add in a 3rd forward to simulate playing against a front 3.
 
VARIATIONS:
  1. The defensive CM on the attacking team can only play in the centre circle and cannot move forward.
  2. Instead of scoring in the gates the defensive team trying to maintain possession for as long as possible as hihg up the field as they can. 
 
NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS:
Ensure players undertand their roles and responsibilities.  Rotate players through positions.  be sure to ask questions on how the unit should move.  Switch the teams frequently and attempt to make it competitive. Focus only on the defensive unit and its players.
 
Diagrams were generated using EasyGraphics.
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